Bearing Witness to Trump Month 29

Week of May 26 – June 1, 2019

While on a state visit in Japan Trump continues to attack his opponents back home which is behavior of a sitting president that was very rare until now. His targets included Joe Biden, the Democratic Party, the Mueller investigation, and the press of course.

In Trump’s visit to Japan the Pentagon was asked to move the USS John McCain out of its homeport to avoid being seen by the President or in photos of his visit. In the end they covered up the name of the late great Senator and war hero. It was reported that White House staff members were so worried about offending their boss that they went to the effort to order it be taken out of sight, least it send Trump into a tirade. Sailors from the McCain were not allowed to attend Trump’s visit to the base. In further politicization of the military, as wannabe dictators are known to do, other sailors who were allowed were wearing patches of a political statement nature with an image of Trump and the words “Make Aircrew Great Again” as a play on Trump’s campaign slogan of “Make America Great Again.”

Embolden by Trump’s two conservative additions to the Supreme Court, the Republican controlled legislatures and governors in states across the South as well as Midwest race to attack abortion rights in hopes of bring Roe vs Wade to the Supreme Court. In Missouri the only abortion providing women’s health clinic in the state is threatened with closure such that only an emergency order by a court keeps it open.

When Senate Majority Leader McConnell was asked if they would fill a vacant seat on the court in Trump’s last year of office, he said of course they would. This is the same unpatriotic phony hypocrite who withheld Obama’s pick of Merrick Garland from being considered during his last year in office. This resulted in a seat on the court being stolen by people who have no principles except winning at all cost.

Special Prosecutor Mueller broke his silence and spoke to the nation in a 9 minute press conference. He reiterated that indicting a sitting President was not an option, whether he committed a crime or not, due to DOJ policy. Not the constitution, not laws, not the courts, but an internal policy statement more fitting of a king or autocrat in power. He repeated that his investigation did not exonerate the President and that Congress has their own duty to investigate as well through impeachment proceedings. He emphasized the most important conclusion that the Russians clearly interfered with the election. What does Trump do; does he condemn the Russians and enact punitive measures? Of course not. He attacks his own justice department and outgoing civil servant Mueller.

Former FBI head James Comey in an editorial takes on the Trump’s administration plans to investigate the investigators of the Russian election influence as well as AG Barr’s use of the word “spying” to describe what they did in their investigation of Trump’s campaign contacts with the Russians.

The President surprises the nation with announcement of his intent to place a 5% tariff on Mexico goods coming into the country because they are not stopping the flow of immigrants across the border. Trump still seems unaware that this tariff, like those on China, is a tax on imp[orts paid by American businesses and consumers. Stock markets roil once again.

The week ends with yet another mass shooting, this time in Virginia Beach where a handgun silencer was used. Not a word from Trump or pro-life Republicans about enacting stricter gun laws. There have now been 150 mass shootings with more than 4 casualties in 2019.

Week of June 2 – 8, 2019

Trump visits England on his postponed state visit to meet the Queen and enjoy how the royalty he obviously so wants to be treated as. But he so demonstrates why he does not deserve any of the respect. During the trip he attacks London’s mayor saying he was a “stone cold loser” that reminded him of the “dumb and incompetent mayor of NYC, Bill de Blasio.” He berated the American press corps coverage of his trip and especially that of CNN, and then referred to the Duchess of Sussex who married Prince Harry, American Meghan Markle, as “nasty” for criticizing the President in 2016. No wonder that nearly 70% of the British have a negative view of Trump. While on foreign soil he called Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi a disaster and even attacked musician Bette Midler.
In a meeting with Prince Charles that included discussion of climate change, Trump afterwards said he believes that weather changes both ways. Yeah, right.

After his visit with the Queen, Trump attends the 75th anniversary of the D-Day landing during WWII. In an interview with Fox News taped in front of the graves of fallen Americans, Trump once again goes off attacking his opponents back home, include Special Prosecutor Mueller who was a decorated military veteran having served in Vietnam. In a separate interview Trump defended not ever serving in the military due to bone spurs, and said he was never a fan of the Vietnam War. He added that he has more than made up for it with his service to the country now. How lucky we are!

Upon returning home Trump continues to act like a King by instructing additional past and present White House aides to defy House subpoenas.

Continuing to close off the world to Americans, the Trump administration halted U.S. departing cruise ships from visiting Cuba.

A report from the Congressional Research Services says the tax cuts were largely a bust with little effect on the income of the average American worker. It seems most of the tax breaks to corporations went to pay dividends, acquire other companies, and pay down their debt, but not to add jobs or increase wages.

As American women lose their rights to abortion services, the Trump administration began issuing new guidelines for research using fetal tissue that will create more hurdles for scientists as well.

Week of June 9 – 15, 2019

In another unbelievable moment, Trump this week claimed in a national TV interview that if another country offered him dirt on a political opponent he would accept it and not report it to the FBI. His willingness to accept foreign interference into U.S. elections is un-American, illegal and treasonous. The next day after condemnation from both parties, he corrected himself and said of course he would let the FBI or AG know, but he added he would still look at whatever information they had to offer.

The House moved closer to legal action by allowing committee chairs to begin suing the Trump administration to force compliance with their subpoenas to appear before Congress.

The House has also begun to challenge the administration’s assertions that its recent arms sales to Saudi Arabia and UAE were truly an emergency which allowed the administration to avoid the normal requirement of congressional approval.

During a visit by the authoritarian president of Poland, Trump announces the sale of our most advance warplanes F-35s to Poland and that 1,000 American troops will be sent to Poland as part of this arms deal. The Polish president had once suggested that the new military base would be named for President Trump. Just what all aspiring autocrats want to hear.

Trump is losing yet another post, Press Secretary Sarah Sanders, who routinely covered for a President who could not stop himself from lying.

In more war mongering, Trump along with Pompeo immediately claim that Iran is responsible for the bombing of two oil tankers in the Strait of Homuz, all within a few hours of the incident. One of the tankers is Japanese, and Japan’s Prime Minister Abe was visiting Iran who the Iranians were hoping would help them circumvent trade sanctions. So why in the world the Iranians would attack a ship flying the Japanese flag is beyond belief. Another Gulf of Tonkin?

The watchdog US Office of Special Counsel said that another Trump aide and Federal employee, Kellyanne Conway, has been a repeat offender of the Hatch Act by her constant politicking and attacking Trump opponents while speaking in her official capacity. They recommended she be removed from office. Trump ignored them.

In amore autocratic-like behavior, this week Trump claimed that China’s President Xi has an advantage in negotiations because Xi controls China’s central bank, while he the U.S. President does not control (yet) the Federal Reserve Bank. Trump said wistfully that “Xi can do whatever he wants.”

Trump’s claims of last week of Mexico’s concessions to minimize migrants into the U.S. and to avoid new tariffs are proving to also be more bluster than fact. Trump claimed there were secret details of the deal that have not been disclosed, while the Mexican government said there not.

Week of June 16 – 22, 2019

By a late-night twitter the President announces that DHS/ICE in a national sweep will begin rounding up and deporting millions of people living in the USA illegally,. It reminds some historians of what Nazi’s first started doing with their Jewish populations. The announcement sends fears though out Hispanic communities that parents will be arrested at their jobs, children apprehended in their schools, or even while leaving churches and other community gathering places. Trump is behaving like a domestic terrorist who takes joy from terrorizing millions of people living in the US. By the end of the week ICE says the action has been delayed due to manpower and security threats.

Tensions with Iran continue to mount as Iran shoots down an American drone a week after tankers were attacked by bombs. Trump says it was a big mistake. The Iranians claim the drone was operating in their airspace just off the coast.

In the ratcheting up to an avoidable war Trump orders another 1000 troops to the Middle East to protect American assets. Trump tweets that the US forces were “cocked and loaded to retaliate” before he called off the attack. Great, we are now stumbling in and out of wars by twitter.

Trump’s cabinet is in more disarray with Acting Defense Secretary Patrick Shanahan resigning after reports of marital violence. With so many positions filled by inexperienced or acting heads in the Trump White House and cabinet, we are one misstep away from a blunder as most wars start out with. This comes at a time when Trump announces that the U.S. came within minutes of attacking Iran after it downed a spy drone before the President called it off, citing it would cause a disproportionate loss of life. Just imagine the outcry from Republicans if a Democrat President had gone through so many cabinet posts and during a time of so much armed conflict involving U.S. forces we did not have a permanent Secretary of Defense.

Iran announces that it has come close to exceeding the limits on enriching uranium that were put into place by the Obama-era international nuclear agreement with Iran that the Trump administration withdrew from. Now Trump is in a predicament of having to punish Iran for not living up to the terms of a treaty that he Trump dissolved. Is anyone surprised that Trump always blames his victim?

Finally, a former administration official appears before the House Judiciary Committee, Hope Hicks a close Trump aide. In hours of testimony she refused to answer hundreds of questions under the advice of White House lawyers who claimed executive privilege.

The White House continues to plan Trump’s July 4 celebration and address to the nation at the Lincoln Memorial where he plans to have a military display and demonstrations by all branches of the armed services, just like all other aspiring autocrats and dictators seek. This is said to be the first time in modern history where a President has attempted to insert himself and partisan politics into the nation’s birthday celebration in the capitol.

Trump officially announces his run for a second term in Orlando, Florida rally. During the rally among thousands of supporters who once again were lured by the showman carny into chanting CNN sucks and lock her up.

Trump fires his pollsters who last week reported to the President that he was trailing several Democrat potential nominees.

Trump continues his attack on the free press by saying that the NYT was treasonous in reporting US plans of cyber espionage against his friends the Russians. But then he said the report was false, more fake news, so how could they be guilty of a treasonous act disclosing something that did not exist in the first place?

Week of June 23 – 30, 2019

In a G-20 meeting in Japan President Trump jokes and laughs with Russian President Putin on stage when asked if he had told Putin to stop meddling in U.S. elections. Later on Trump and Putin joke about the news media and fake news.  In advance of the meeting Trump said he expected a very good meeting with Putin and what was to be discussed was none of the business of anyone else. Please tell me this is a bad dream.

The humanitarian crisis and moral embarrassment of the U.S. continues after the discovery of hundreds of migrant children being held in deplorable conditions with inadequate food, water, and sanitation. The acting head, yes another acting head, of the DHS Customs and Border Protection agency resigns. Leadership within these organizations has been such a rotating door that no wonder everything is in chaos while families who have committed no crime other than to seek a better life for their families are punished.

In a meeting with China’s leader Xi Jinping the President decided to delay new tariffs on Chinese goods to restart stalled negotiations on a new trade deal.  Not to miss an opportunity to work with another autocrat and criminal, Trump meets with Saudi Arabia’s Mohammed Bin Salman who has yet to be called out for the killing of an American resident and internationalist journalist.

The President continues to attack the political independence of the Federal Reserve Bank’s Chairman Jerome Powell by saying that he was a nobody that no one ever heard of before Trump appointed him, and that Trump made him. Trump later says that the Fed does not know what it is doing as growth should be 4-5%. Trump just wants to continue to do what he did in private business, use other people’s money for his own gain.

The buildup to yet another Middle East conflict continues with Trump calling Iranian leaders ignorant and threatening the use of overwhelming force to obliterate the country. They return the insult by describing the White House as mentally crippled, which is certainly fair enough.

Elsewhere in the Middle East, Trump’s son-in-law Jared Kushner waved millions of dollars of economic investment into Palestine for infrastructure, healthcare, education, and utilities. Obviously Trump’s family thinks like he does, that all problems of life can be bought off with money, bribes or economic warfare. Treasury Secretary Mnuchin said that it’s going to be like a hot IPO. Palestinian leaders respond that the economic problem is second to the political problem of occupation and illegal settlements by Israel.

Twitter says it will start labeling tweets that are threatening or offensive with warning labels. This should include those of the President who attacks, bullies, mocks, demeans, harasses, slanders, belittles, disparages, degrades, lies about, and humiliates citizens of the U.S. as well as threatening countries around the world with obliteration.

By Twitter this week Trump claims that a woman who accused him of rape several decades ago could not have happened because “she was not my type.” Yes, he really said that.

In one of the few things Trump has done by executive order that benefited the public, he called on hospitals to disclose actual costs for common tests and procedures. We are still awaiting many of his other campaign promises including that the Federal Government would start negotiating the prices of drugs, and of course we would have a much better health care system after he got rid of Obamacare.

Trump’s loyalist Secretary of Treasury, Steven Mnuchin, is seeking the return of control over the Secret Service to his agency. Of course he does, every King wants more direct control of his court protectors.

Republicans continue to demonstrate that their primary loyalty is to the power of the party and president by attacking one of their own, Henry Kerner, head of the Special Counsel. Kerner had concluded that Trump advisor Kellyanne Conway should be dismissed and prosecuted for violations of the Hatch Act which prohibits the partisan politicking by federal employees while on the job.

The above news has been taken from a number of international, national, regional, and local news media sources, both print and digital. Additional editorial opinions and comments about these news items are those of this author.

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